|Current operator||Govia Thameslink Railway|
|Main Route(s)||Thameslink, Great Northern Route and Southern|
|Franchise dates||14 September 2014 – 2021|
|Gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Electrification||25 kV 50 hz AC OHLE|
750 V DC third rail
Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern (TSGN) is a management contract for the provision of passenger services on the Thameslink and Great Northern routes to Bedford, Luton, Peterborough, King's Lynn, Cambridge, London King's Cross, London Moorgate, Sutton, Wimbledon and Brighton, as well as the whole Southern network (including the Gatwick Express) and the jointly operated First Capital Connect Southeastern services (for example the Kentish Town - Sevenoaks via Catford), which were added to the franchise on 25 July 2015, with the Southern and Gatwick Express brands retained.
The Department for Transport decided to create a new Thameslink, Southern Great Northern franchise with the services jointly operated with Southeastern to be added in December 2014 and the entire South Central franchise in July 2015.
The Invitation to Tender was to have been issued in October 2012, with the successful bidder announced 4–6 months later. However, in the wake of the InterCity West Coast refranchising process collapsing, the government announced in October 2012 that the process would be put on hold pending the results of a review.
In January 2013 the government announced it would be exercising an option to extend the contract until March 2014.
In March 2013 the Secretary of State for Transport announced the franchise would again be extended until 13 September 2014, and that the future franchise would be a management style contract due to the level of investment and change on the route. In September 2013 a revised invitation to tender was issued. In May 2014, Govia was awarded the new franchise.
The former First Capital Connect parts of the franchise have been re-branded as Thameslink and Great Northern operated by the newly formed Govia Thameslink Railway; while the existing Southern and Gatwick Express brands have been retained. The franchise is unusual as a management contract where fare income does not go to GTR, which is simply paid a fee for operating the service, so GTR carries less revenue risk. This form of franchise was chosen because of long-term engineering works anticipated around London, which would be a significant challenge to organise within the normal form of franchise.
In 2017, the Government confirmed it was considering the size of the franchise at its next renewal, indicating it could be broken up.
In May 2018, following the announcement of the renationalisation of InterCity East Coast franchise as London North Eastern Railway, Grayling revealed despite not reaching a decision on the future of Great Northern services beyond 2021 it had been proposed that Great Northern services could be merged with the London North Eastern Railway or transferred to London Overground.
- New rail franchising deal set to transform passenger services across London & south east Department for Transport 23 May 2014
- New franchising programme Secretary of State for Transport announcement 5 August 2011
- Bidders to oversee improvements on rail franchises announced Department for Transport 29 March 2012
- West Coast Main Line franchise competition cancelled Department for Transport Press Release 3 October 2012
- Rail franchising future programme Department for Transport 31 January 2013
- "Railway plan puts new focus on passengers" Secretary of State for Transport statement 26 March 2013
- Thameslink Southern & Great Northern Invitation to Tender Department for Transport 26 September 2013
- "Govia chosen for new Thameslink contract". Railnews. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
- "Govia wins TSGN franchise, beating FirstGroup". Rail Technology Magazine]. Cognitive Publishing. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
- Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise Archived 2015-03-20 at the Wayback Machine Go-Ahead Group
- Ben James (18 June 2016). "Fines issued to rail provider GTR for poor performance slammed". The Argus. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
- Simon Usborne (8 July 2016). "All aboard the Southern chaos train: the commuters caught in a war on rails". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
- Topham, Gwyn (5 November 2017). "UK's biggest rail franchise to be broken up". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 January 2018.